Use our tips and strategies for thinking about each of the seven personal essay options on the 2017-18 Common Application. CA4, launched on August 1st, 2013, have been expanded and revised for the 2017-18 college application cycle. Two new essay options have been added, and some of the old questions have been revised. When CA4 launched, one of the common app essay advice changes from the previous version was the essay section.
Topic of Your Choice option. With the 2017-18 udpates, that popular option is back again. The new prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection. If your essay doesn’t include some self-analysis, you haven’t fully succeeded in responding to the prompt. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Identity” is at the heart of this prompt. What is it that makes you you? The prompt gives you a lot of latitude for answering the question since you can write a story about your “background, identity, interest, or talent. Your “background” can be a broad environmental factor that contributed to your development such as growing up in a military family, living in an interesting place, or dealing with an unusual family situation. You could write about an event or series of events that had a profound impact on your identity. Your “interest” or “talent” could be a passion that has driven you to become the person you are today.